Newcastle United lucky not to have encountered administration

Words by Kevin Doocey on .

Mike - Love him or loath him he’s kept NUFC in a financially stable condition

You only have to look at Portsmouth FC to see what the economic recession is doing to football. Stoke City’s 1-2 win against Avram Grant’s side was rumoured to have been the last ever game played in Fratton Park, however whether this is true or not, I really don’t know. Either way, Pompey are in a serious financial mess at the minute and the signs for the future are not good at all. With a winding up order chasing them around for the last month, whether the final straw in the 2008 FA Cup winners, has been well and truly pulled we’ll see in a matter of days.

We can’t feel guilty about this as Magpies though. After all, we tried to help them, dishing out £1m for Mike Williamson. That however, is only a drop in the ocean of the funds needed to keep this club above board.

As much as you can fault Mike Ashley for ruining this club and dragging us into the Coca Cola Championship, we could very easily be in the situation Portsmouth find themselves in. Relegation is a huge disappointment for all sectors at a club. With the likes of Michael Owen, Mark Viduka, Damien Duff, Habib Beye and so forth all earning huge money from the club, it was unsustainable to keep them lads at the club.

Not only that though, the likes of Coloccini, Jonas, Barton, Smith, Ameobi, Taylor(s) all still earn a wage that most league 1 clubs wouldn’t dish-out to their entire staff in a week. Footballers are over-paid for sure, but I won’t be getting into that because I might only reduce some Toon fans to tears with the facts!

Mike Ashley’s reported £25m loan to the club is reported to keep this club running and pay the players. Ashley wanted to sell a few times now but couldn’t find a suitable buyer, however in fairness he kept the club on it’s feet with the money both generated from transfer fees and some of his own cash.

Many suggest he pocketed the sales money from Shay Given, Damien Duff, Obafemi Martins and so forth but I really do doubt it. Very easily, Newcastle United could’ve been history. It’s just lucky that we are where we are in the table, aloft the Championship and looking good for promotion. Mike Ashley is as keen as any Toon fan out there to get promoted, and especially to avail of the juicy TV revenue deals and the many other sources of income.

Here in my own country Cork City who once harvested the likes of Kevin Doyle, Ipswich’s Damien Delaney, Roy O’Donovan from our neighbours Sunderland, Dave Mooney now on-loan at Charlton and even Reading’s Shane Long, folded as a club today and were officially no longer a football club.

This is never nice to see and it’s becoming more and more prevalent nowadays with Crystal Palace now under the control of administrators. Thank God it hasn’t happened here on Tyneside and with a Premier League return, we’d like to think it’d never ever happen. However, there’s always a chance in the current climate.

On a different note, Peter ‘Free-Scoring’ Lovenkrands is expected to make the trip to Watford and that’s very good news indeed. Three points at Vicarage Road would be even nicer 😀

Comments welcome 🙂

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dgh: ⏱ 23/02/2010

We can never ignore the turmoil the club have been subjected too over the last 2 years. But we had major major problems before Ashley took over with people taking more out of the club then they ever put in. Yes we have had lies and mismanagement but after all of that we are still viable as a business. Week after week the chant echo’s round the ground commenting on Ashley’s continued presence at the club. If we are realistic he is the club custodian, a rich man with an expensive toy. The continued abuse will only isolate him from the club which will be negative. Yes I am sure many people will disagree with me but it may be time to say you have made mistakes but repent and come back to the fold. NUFC are one of the greatest clubs in the world. The fan base is without doubt the most loyal and passionate (and I am proud to have supported the club for over 35 years). But we need someone who is prepared to support the club at a financial level which will deliver what the fan base deserve. No matter what your thoughts of Ashley are he has shown the potential to support the club to level that is required.

dgh: ⏱ 23/02/2010

We can never ignore the turmoil the club have been subjected too over the last 2 years. But we had major major problems before Ashley took over with people taking more out of the club then they ever put in. Yes we have had lies and mismanagement but after all of that we are still viable as a business. Week after week the chant echo’s round the ground commenting on Ashley’s continued presence at the club. If we are realistic he is the club custodian, a rich man with an expensive toy. The continued abuse will only isolate him from the club which will be negative. Yes I am sure many people will disagree with me but it may be time to say you have made mistakes but repent and come back to the fold. NUFC are one of the greatest clubs in the world. The fan base is without doubt the most loyal and passionate (and I am proud to have supported the club for over 35 years). But we need someone who is prepared to support the club at a financial level which will deliver what the fan base deserve. No matter what your thoughts of Ashley are he has shown the potential to support the club to level that is required.

ToonLoony: ⏱ 23/02/2010

DGH, I couldn't agree more!!! Well said. With out Ashley's cash we would be in administration and in the shite!!!

ToonLoony: ⏱ 23/02/2010

DGH, I couldn't agree more!!! Well said. With out Ashley's cash we would be in administration and in the shite!!!

NUFCELITE: ⏱ 24/02/2010

I dont blame mike ashley for the position the greatest club on earth is in,i blame sheapard as he was the 1 that let the club wages spiral out of control,if ashley had not bought the great nufc,the club would have gone bust 2 years ago.

NUFCELITE: ⏱ 24/02/2010

I dont blame mike ashley for the position the greatest club on earth is in,i blame sheapard as he was the 1 that let the club wages spiral out of control,if ashley had not bought the great nufc,the club would have gone bust 2 years ago.

Jack C: ⏱ 24/02/2010

The question will always be, would you rather a 'Toon Army Till I Die' group like NUST (without private resources on tap to put emergency supporting loans in place) were in charge or a rich kid like MA who doesn't want to lose his money on his considerable investment? Like a house, it ain't what you pay for it, it's what it costs to put right when the central heating goes wrong or the roof blows off. Unless NUST have TWICE the face value of the club in the bank they should walk away now, because that is the minimum contingency they will need to guard against the nervous banks seeking administration at the slightest hiccup. At no time up to MA taking over did NUFC look a viable investment, the wage sheet alone was a testament to the utter incompetence of previous idiot directors throwing millions around at spoilt brat footballers, probably because it felt good to be mixing in those circles. "A hundred grand a week, no conditions attached, plus another ten grand a week for the gee-gees? I think we can manage that, Michael." This bone-headed profligacy verged on financial negligence; all at the final expense of the season ticket holders, or the expense of the city itself if the club went under. It never brought a trophy, and simply stored up huge problems for the future, problems that would have sunk the club without a billionaire such as MA as owner. What the last year has done is reveal the true state of this club to its supporters, and yes we still have the shouters hurling abuse at Ashley (and yes he has been s*** at times) - but a year in the backwaters of Fizzy Pop football has done this club no harm at all if we are brutally honest. And, if we learn to start winning away as well, we might add some genuine silverware to the cabinet - if anyone can remember where the key was last put......

Jack C: ⏱ 24/02/2010

The question will always be, would you rather a 'Toon Army Till I Die' group like NUST (without private resources on tap to put emergency supporting loans in place) were in charge or a rich kid like MA who doesn't want to lose his money on his considerable investment? Like a house, it ain't what you pay for it, it's what it costs to put right when the central heating goes wrong or the roof blows off. Unless NUST have TWICE the face value of the club in the bank they should walk away now, because that is the minimum contingency they will need to guard against the nervous banks seeking administration at the slightest hiccup. At no time up to MA taking over did NUFC look a viable investment, the wage sheet alone was a testament to the utter incompetence of previous idiot directors throwing millions around at spoilt brat footballers, probably because it felt good to be mixing in those circles. "A hundred grand a week, no conditions attached, plus another ten grand a week for the gee-gees? I think we can manage that, Michael." This bone-headed profligacy verged on financial negligence; all at the final expense of the season ticket holders, or the expense of the city itself if the club went under. It never brought a trophy, and simply stored up huge problems for the future, problems that would have sunk the club without a billionaire such as MA as owner. What the last year has done is reveal the true state of this club to its supporters, and yes we still have the shouters hurling abuse at Ashley (and yes he has been s*** at times) - but a year in the backwaters of Fizzy Pop football has done this club no harm at all if we are brutally honest. And, if we learn to start winning away as well, we might add some genuine silverware to the cabinet - if anyone can remember where the key was last put......

Toon212100: ⏱ 24/02/2010

I will always thank MA for what has done and I will always believe in him. He has put too much money in him not to trust him. Everyone is in for the money. Halls and Shepherd. He is a businessman there is no way your chants will make him leave we shld jst let go and move in the same direction. He said he wasnt going to sell to a person who cant manage and thats why Moat got the boot. Lets all move on. MA and CH I trust.

Toon212100: ⏱ 24/02/2010

I will always thank MA for what has done and I will always believe in him. He has put too much money in him not to trust him. Everyone is in for the money. Halls and Shepherd. He is a businessman there is no way your chants will make him leave we shld jst let go and move in the same direction. He said he wasnt going to sell to a person who cant manage and thats why Moat got the boot. Lets all move on. MA and CH I trust.

Kimbo: ⏱ 24/02/2010

If I was Mike Ashley,I would go onto the centre circle of the pitch at the next home game,take all the abuse and then admit I have made mistakes that has cost me £millions personally and apologuise.Then I would ask the fans to support me to take us back where we belong(Premiership)stating that we arenot going to bankrupt the club by paying stupid wages,no more greedy Owens who don`t care about the club and state we will be in a secure financial state to continue unlike most clubs.Then the last thing I would say is "I do care about the supporters,I do care about NUFC".

Kimbo: ⏱ 24/02/2010

If I was Mike Ashley,I would go onto the centre circle of the pitch at the next home game,take all the abuse and then admit I have made mistakes that has cost me £millions personally and apologuise.Then I would ask the fans to support me to take us back where we belong(Premiership)stating that we arenot going to bankrupt the club by paying stupid wages,no more greedy Owens who don`t care about the club and state we will be in a secure financial state to continue unlike most clubs.Then the last thing I would say is "I do care about the supporters,I do care about NUFC".

Cyprus-Toon: ⏱ 24/02/2010

Totally agree with the above sentiments, well posted guys :) As for the current crop of players, I think they've done us a service with the way they've gone about their jobs to get us back into the PL at the first time of asking, the only problem we have is how much it's costing us to keep them, now I know Ashley has put in a wage cap of £15k per week in the Fizzy & ruomurs are that will raise to £30k per week if/when we get back to the PL, I am just wondering if the so-called high earners like Smith, Nolan, Barton, Colo etc will be asked to drop their wages to that amount to stay with the club or be sold to make way for fresh talent on lower wages?? If the rumours are to be believed, all the above named have been courted by PL clubs this past season, so it wouldn't be hard to shift them out if we needed to freshen up & lower the wage bill as well, so will Ashley do that or will he do his usual act & put u up for sale again come the soummer, especially if promotion is guaranteed??

Toonwoz: ⏱ 24/02/2010

At long last some well thought out, intelligent comments on M.A. I think he was naive when he took over and if he really wanted to develope young players and not buy established big money players, then he should never have hired K.K who doesn't have a clue about developing players as proved in his first stint as N.U.F.C manager. He then hired the fool Wise to try to stop K.K bankrupting the club and then asked Shearer to keep us up without any experience. All of this was to try to please us fans. This season however he has stopped his tactic of appeasement and started being a proper chairman by making the right decisions and backing C.H with good but inexspensive players. I agree that he should give a full public appology to the fans and I dont think he should sell in case we end up with Pompeys' Al Faraj. He should go back to his original strategy and devolpe quality youth players in our academy and look at making us great again in the long term as opposed to the short term blinkered view that Sheppard had. Also If Platini gets his way then we would be in a great possition if the top clubs have to sell players to get their wage bill under 40% of their income. Finally Liverpool, Arsenal and Man.U, are in dire financial straights and are being kept afloat by loans and if Roman walked out on Chelski they would be F****D so i think we have a lot less to worry about than most of the biggest teams in Europe. That's my rant over any agreable/abusive responses welcome :)

Toonwoz: ⏱ 24/02/2010

At long last some well thought out, intelligent comments on M.A. I think he was naive when he took over and if he really wanted to develope young players and not buy established big money players, then he should never have hired K.K who doesn't have a clue about developing players as proved in his first stint as N.U.F.C manager. He then hired the fool Wise to try to stop K.K bankrupting the club and then asked Shearer to keep us up without any experience. All of this was to try to please us fans. This season however he has stopped his tactic of appeasement and started being a proper chairman by making the right decisions and backing C.H with good but inexspensive players. I agree that he should give a full public appology to the fans and I dont think he should sell in case we end up with Pompeys' Al Faraj. He should go back to his original strategy and devolpe quality youth players in our academy and look at making us great again in the long term as opposed to the short term blinkered view that Sheppard had. Also If Platini gets his way then we would be in a great possition if the top clubs have to sell players to get their wage bill under 40% of their income. Finally Liverpool, Arsenal and Man.U, are in dire financial straights and are being kept afloat by loans and if Roman walked out on Chelski they would be F****D so i think we have a lot less to worry about than most of the biggest teams in Europe. That's my rant over any agreable/abusive responses welcome :)

bowburnmag: ⏱ 24/02/2010

The problem I have with the view that we should be thankful to Ashley for 'saving us' from administration, is that it's not true in the sense that he's done it for us. For all we know, it's just a by-product of protecting his own investment, because after everything he's said since Keegangate, that's what we've become. No longer the toy that he wanted to play with and the figure of fun he was looking for. We've become an investment to him now where he needs to recoup some of his losses. Because we all fell out and he's tried in vain to sell us on a number of occasions and that he hasn't come out with a statement of intent, we can just as easily assume the latter is true, rather than he's looking to keep us and make everything rosy again (not that it necessarily was in recent years). So yes, I'm grateful that he came along and may ultimately have indirectly saved our bacon but he might be waiting a while for a pat on the back.

bowburnmag: ⏱ 24/02/2010

The problem I have with the view that we should be thankful to Ashley for 'saving us' from administration, is that it's not true in the sense that he's done it for us. For all we know, it's just a by-product of protecting his own investment, because after everything he's said since Keegangate, that's what we've become. No longer the toy that he wanted to play with and the figure of fun he was looking for. We've become an investment to him now where he needs to recoup some of his losses. Because we all fell out and he's tried in vain to sell us on a number of occasions and that he hasn't come out with a statement of intent, we can just as easily assume the latter is true, rather than he's looking to keep us and make everything rosy again (not that it necessarily was in recent years). So yes, I'm grateful that he came along and may ultimately have indirectly saved our bacon but he might be waiting a while for a pat on the back.

Toonwoz: ⏱ 24/02/2010

To bowburning I honestly cannot disagree with any of your comment as the later is probably what he is doing, however protecting his investment and the stability of the club are intertwined. I guess I'm just extremely anxious about him selling the club with all the dodgy dealings going on in the world of football at the moment but even if he stays then I wouldn't give him a pat on the back just a stay of execution until I'm sure he is fully commited to the cause.

Toonwoz: ⏱ 24/02/2010

To bowburning I honestly cannot disagree with any of your comment as the later is probably what he is doing, however protecting his investment and the stability of the club are intertwined. I guess I'm just extremely anxious about him selling the club with all the dodgy dealings going on in the world of football at the moment but even if he stays then I wouldn't give him a pat on the back just a stay of execution until I'm sure he is fully commited to the cause.

chuck: ⏱ 24/02/2010

Think it`s a combination of the two, yes i`m sure MA wants to protect his investment, who would`nt ? But whether he wants to sell, remains unclear, being he is a very private person in regard to business. I was of the opinion he would sell at the first available opportunity, but not so sure anymore. For instance he certainly looked elated following the last win, high fiving all around him. He has reintroduced the system of bringing in young prospects, not something a short term ownership would be interested in and in general appears to be enjoying the success of the club. Those signs plus the reported introduction of a business plan in regard to both a salary cap and an age limit on signings. Why would an owner wanting to sell bother with any of those measures, seems more likely an indication of a projected long term relationship to me. But i have been known to be wrong before !

chuck: ⏱ 24/02/2010

Think it`s a combination of the two, yes i`m sure MA wants to protect his investment, who would`nt ? But whether he wants to sell, remains unclear, being he is a very private person in regard to business. I was of the opinion he would sell at the first available opportunity, but not so sure anymore. For instance he certainly looked elated following the last win, high fiving all around him. He has reintroduced the system of bringing in young prospects, not something a short term ownership would be interested in and in general appears to be enjoying the success of the club. Those signs plus the reported introduction of a business plan in regard to both a salary cap and an age limit on signings. Why would an owner wanting to sell bother with any of those measures, seems more likely an indication of a projected long term relationship to me. But i have been known to be wrong before !

Doocey: ⏱ 24/02/2010

Lads, it's fair to say we still aren't on Mike Ashley side. Well I'm not anyway. The only thing I'm glad he has done is indeed avoid administration which would've been a real possibility. Yes of course he's protecting his asset but you'd certainly expect he would. Still though, administration wouldn't have been a <strong>total</strong> disaster for Mike Ashley as a business. He's eying up a Premier League return with big juicy TV revenue deals, as any businessman would.!

Doocey: ⏱ 24/02/2010

Lads, it's fair to say we still aren't on Mike Ashley side. Well I'm not anyway. The only thing I'm glad he has done is indeed avoid administration which would've been a real possibility. Yes of course he's protecting his asset but you'd certainly expect he would. Still though, administration wouldn't have been a <strong>total</strong> disaster for Mike Ashley as a business. He's eying up a Premier League return with big juicy TV revenue deals, as any businessman would.!

Killy Mag: ⏱ 24/02/2010

As long as them fucking useless muppets at the NUST don't get in. Fuckin hopeless, shit stirring bastards. Id rather MA stayed then let a group of thick, power hungry nob heads in. I signed up for their newsletter at first but can't beleive some of the shit they come out with. At least its good for a laugh...

Steve: ⏱ 24/02/2010

What a load of garbage. We have never even been close to administration. The money from the transfer windows over the last two season have ensured that Ashley has made a nice healthy profit from NUFC. Did you know that some of the original land that Ashley acquired when purchasing NUFC has been sold for a pittance to one of Ashleys own satellite company's ? He will make a handsome profit on this land when redeveloped. He may be a fat cocknee bastard but he knows how to rip people off. Get real and stop scaremongering with silly articles like this one.

Steve: ⏱ 24/02/2010

What a load of garbage. We have never even been close to administration. The money from the transfer windows over the last two season have ensured that Ashley has made a nice healthy profit from NUFC. Did you know that some of the original land that Ashley acquired when purchasing NUFC has been sold for a pittance to one of Ashleys own satellite company's ? He will make a handsome profit on this land when redeveloped. He may be a fat cocknee bastard but he knows how to rip people off. Get real and stop scaremongering with silly articles like this one.

Doocey: ⏱ 24/02/2010

Do you really think we've never been <strong>near </strong>administration Steve?

Doocey: ⏱ 24/02/2010

Do you really think we've never been <strong>near </strong>administration Steve?

dgh: ⏱ 24/02/2010

I must confess I am pleased to see I am not alone in my views. I would doubt if MA would read this but if he were to take some of comments posted above he may rescue his position at the club and begin to enjoy the new era which is coming. Many things need to change at the club. Appointing non executive directors from the true support would act as guidence so the same mistakes are not made. We can be a top club again but its going to take a long time to get to that position. Our performance on the pitch has only shown how poor this league is. We need to start planning long term in a youth policy with players who not only have the skill but the hunger. No matter what your views of ma are he hold the key to the new begining.

dgh: ⏱ 24/02/2010

I must confess I am pleased to see I am not alone in my views. I would doubt if MA would read this but if he were to take some of comments posted above he may rescue his position at the club and begin to enjoy the new era which is coming. Many things need to change at the club. Appointing non executive directors from the true support would act as guidence so the same mistakes are not made. We can be a top club again but its going to take a long time to get to that position. Our performance on the pitch has only shown how poor this league is. We need to start planning long term in a youth policy with players who not only have the skill but the hunger. No matter what your views of ma are he hold the key to the new begining.

Killy Mag: ⏱ 25/02/2010

Steve are you i the NUST mate...sounds like it

Killy Mag: ⏱ 25/02/2010

Steve are you i the NUST mate...sounds like it